Situated on the west bank of the Tiber, just across from the city centre, the Vatican City was established as a sovereign state in 1929, a tiny territory surrounded by high walls on its far western side and on the near side opening its doors to the rest of the city and its pilgrims in the form of St Peter’s and its colonnaded piazza. The city-state’s one thousand inhabitants have their own radio station, daily newspaper, postal service, and indeed security service in the colourfully dressed Swiss Guards. It’s believed that St Peter was buried in a pagan cemetery on the Vatican hill, giving rise to the building of a basilica to venerate his name and the siting of the headquarters of the Catholic Church here. St Peter’s is obviously one of the highlights, but the only part of the Vatican Palace itself that you can visit independently is the Vatican Museums – quite simply, the largest, richest, most compelling and perhaps most exhausting museum complex in the world.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Rome and Lazio features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Where to eat the best pizza in Rome

Where to eat the best pizza in Rome

Naples may be the birthplace of pizza, but the Roman version is just as tasty. A thinner crust than the doughier Neapolitan pizza, and the addition of olive oil…

27 Jun 2016 • Natasha Foges insert_drive_file Article
The best places to get off the tourist trail in Rome 

The best places to get off the tourist trail in Rome 

Ticked off Rome’s big sights and wondering where to go next? Natasha Foges picks some of the city’s off-the-beaten track highlights. Lose yourself in the Q…

24 May 2016 • Natasha Foges insert_drive_file Article
10 of the best European city breaks

10 of the best European city breaks

In this article sponsored by Scenic Australia, Emma Gibbs picks 10 of the best city breaks across Europe. Europe is so crammed full of fascinating, vibrant c…

01 Dec 2015 • Emma Gibbs insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month